AKINWUNMI Ambode, Governor of Lagos state, has restated the support of the Lagos state government for the successful implementation of the speed limiting device in Nigeria, saying its effective implementation could address the current challenges of speed related crashes facing the country. He stated this at the stakeholders’ forum on speed limiting device organised by the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC in continuation of its public sensitisation programme on the implementation of the speed limiting device in the country.
A press release issued by Bisi Kazeem, Head, Media Relations and Strategy, stated that the Governor who was represented by the Special Assistant to the Governor on transport, Prince Anofiu, noted that the increasing rate of road traffic crashes and fatalities being experienced from speed related crashes in the country makes it imperative that stakeholders take necessary measures to address the menace. He gave assurances that the Lagos state government remains committed to the introduction and effective implementation of the speed limiting device as a control mechanism against speed violation and resultant road crashes.
While enumerating some of the traffic challenges facing Lagos state, Ambode vowed to address the gridlocks being experienced in part of the state. Part of the measures, he said was the recent decision by the state government to sign an MOU for the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge under public-private partnership arrangement with completion period of 30 months. The Governor further assured that the state government will support the FRSC in its determination to address the challenges of traffic management in the country, reaffirming his commitment to addressing other traffic challenges facing the state.
He appealed to members of the public particularly the motorists to always drive within the stipulated speed limits and show obedience to all traffic rules and regulations in the collective will to rid the country of avoidable road carnage.
In his presentation entitled, “Speed Limiting Device Implementation in Nigeria: The Journey So Far,” Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal of the FRSC, stated that as a country which depends highly on road transportation for over 90 percent of movement of its people and goods, Nigeria could not afford the current threats from speed related crashes. While tracing the genesis of the introduction of compulsory use of speed limiters in the country, the Corps Marshal who was represented by the Deputy Corps Marshal in charge of Motor Vehicle Administration, Theophilus Charles stated that FRSC was alarmed by the continuous incidences of speed induced crashes. This, he said was why the stakeholders came together to deliberate on the way forward, resulting in the resolution to implement the extant provisions on use of speed limiting device by motorists as provided for in both the FRSC Establishment Act 2007 and the National Road Traffic Regulation, NRTR, 2012 as amended.
He further noted that the stakeholders’ resolutions led to the search for suitable and standardised types that could be adopted for use on the Nigeria roads, pointing out that it was the technical inputs by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and the National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, that led to the current type being adopted for use in the country. The Corps Marshal further stressed that as part of the holistic efforts to address the speed related menace, the National Automotive Development and Design Council has since directed all vehicle manufacturing plants in the country to ensure that the device is installed in all locally manufactured vehicles, while deadline for compliance on the installation of the device in all vehicles being imported into the country has been given.
Oyeyemi reaffirmed that in the implementation of the policy, FRSC has no pecuniary interest, neither is it connected with price fixing, maintaining that the basic concern of the FRSC is safety of lives and property of the people on the road. “FRSC neither markets the device nor promotes any vendor, but interested only in the safety of the people. Accordingly, the Corps would work with other stakeholders to ensure that the standards of the device is adhered to by all the motorists and vendors,” he stated.
On the need for public sensitisation programme, the Corps Marshal disclosed that following the stakeholders’ resolution on the introduction of the device, FRSC was charged with the responsibility of embarking on aggressive public enlightenment programme which it had been doing using all medium of communication including motor park rallies. This he said has led to a situation whereby most of the transport unions and transport companies in the country have keyed into the initiative and engaging in self regulation on its installation.
The Corps Marshal added that in the quest to commence enforcement of the use of the device, different dates had had been suggested in the past, but shifted due to need for more enlightenment programmes. He noted that the last enforcement date of 1st of April 2016 was personally given by Mr President who has demonstrated his commitment for safer road environment in the country. He added that FRSC could not commence the enforcement from 1st April in line with presidential directive, because of the National Assembly’s motion which suspended it pending when a public hearing was conducted. He noted however, that with the public heating already conducted and outcome being awaited, there was the need for sustained enlightenment programmes as evidenced by the stakeholders’ forum.
As part of the sensitisation peogramme, papers were presented by Resource Persons from three organisations that had adopted the speed limiting device in managing the operations of their fleet prior to formal introduction in the country. The presenters used the occasion to stress the benefits of the device to the safety of fleet and need for all transporters to adopt its use for maximum safety benefits. The papers were presented from Peace Mass Transport Limited; Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURW.
Other participants who contributed to the discussion expressed satisfaction with the sensitization programme, noting that the implementation of the device could go a long way in addressing the current challenges of speed related crashes being faced by the country. They however called on the vendors to work out modalities by which the cost of the devices could be reduced for all transporters to easily buy into the initiative.
After exhaustive deliberations, members of the forum resolved that FRSC and major stakeholders should sustain mass awareness on the benefits of speed limiting device nationwide, while Transport Organizations, Fleet Operators and vehicle owners are required to install speed limiting device which conform with approved standard by the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, in their vehicles. “SON should consider setting up deadline for all imported vehicles while National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, should ensure that vehicles manufactured in Nigeria are fitted with speed limiters,” the Communiqué stated.
Members of the forum also resolved that state enforcement and enlightenment machineries should be activated to compliment FRSC’s efforts and urged Governments to reintroduce tolling for the maintenance of the roads.”Stakeholders should engage their personnel in defensive driving techniques,” it further stated.
Participants at the one day stakeholders’ forum held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers Ikeja, Lagos came from varied backgrounds including transport companies, transport unions, law enforcement agencies, NGOs and members of the public
— May 30, 2016 @ 14:10 GMT